Caleb Thomas Smith
They say that every birth story is different. Now I don't know who "they" are, but I can tell you that my experience thus far has showed me that they are right. Caleb's birth story, much like every birth story, is different from the rest. Considering our past experience with Andrew's birth (see Oct 2007 blog post) you can understand why we would be a little uptight about this coming labor. Tyler especially was a little overzealous in his reactions. Every time I breathed funny or sighed or made a funny face he accused me of having labor pains and not telling him. Well, it is nice to know that he doesn't trust me; I cannot imagine why. In light of our most recent birthing experience anyone can understand why Tyler was a little afraid to leave and go to work as we neared the end of this pregnancy. Obviously he did not want to miss the birth that he was sure was going to be very fast; actually Caleb's birthing experience really started 6 days before he was born...
On Thursday, October 16th Tyler was working from home, which had become a normal thing, so that I could get groceries and we could save gas. Anyway, while he was doing whatever it is that he does (I have no idea), I felt what would be considered minor labor pains - Braxton-Hicks probably. Naturally, I thought they were just B-H and didn't tell Tyler, but still planned to go run the errands that I had set aside to do. On my way to Augusta these pains started to increase some and I was a little nervous about being stuck in Augusta with no alternate driver and two small children. So I stopped at Mister Market got some groceries and took my little self back home. Obviously Tyler wanted to know why I was home about 2 hours early, and I had to tell him. But I did assure him that they were very minor and nothing to get too worked up over. What does he do then? He calls everyone we have ever met to tell them that I am in labor. Great, now do you know why I didn't tell him earlier? Well these so called contractions lasted for 48 hours (not a typo) and did not progress hardly at all. I told you they were false labor, whatever happened to mother knows best? Oh wait, that is father knows best; whatever.
So now everyone I know is calling wondering why they got a labor call, but no call to announce the birth. Man I love overzealous husbands! We managed to get in a fairly normal weekend because I refused to set everything aside for the future birth of a child not due to deliver for another week and a half. As it turns out no other signs of this child's coming were shown until Tuesday morning at 4 AM. On Tuesday morning like every other morning I was having a hard time to sleep so I got up so that Ty could sleep. He followed me into the living room and pelted me with questions. Finally at 4:45 he had convinced me that it wasn't B-H again, and that we should call Amanda. To make a long story short by the time Amanda arrived I was definitely on board with the whole real labor theory and we left for the hospital at 5:20. While in the car the labor progressed so fast that I was worried we wouldn't make it to the hospital, or that we would get in a car accident. Tyler was driving 70-80 miles per hour with his double flashes on through Augusta. We arrived in record time and Caleb Thomas Smith was born 45 minutes later.
Although Caleb's birth was not as fast as Drew's, it was plenty fast enough. I learned a few things from this experience. One: Tyler's fear of missing the birth because of time to travel from work to home to the hospital was real, and if he had been working we probably wouldn't have made it to Maine General. Two: Braxton Hicks pains for me are apparently early signs of labor and once my true labor begins I have less than a couple of hours. Three: You must have a friend like Amanda while expecting so that you can leave your kids at the drop of a hat and not worry. Four: Don't let your husband call anyone about labor until you are admitted to the hospital. And Finally: It may take you four labor experiences to finally get that movie type experience of driving too fast through traffic with the thought that a cop would actually escort you if he saw you.
Caleb Thomas Smith was born on 21 October 2008 weighing in at 6 lbs 2 oz and 19 inches long. He is named after Caleb from the bible and Tyler's grandmother whose middle name is Thomas (really).